Right about the time ZGirl hit five months, the breastfeeding went the way of Buh-Bye. I just couldn’t see how pumping at work would maintain my supply when I was limited by time and means in how often and length. There was no way I could sneak away every hour and a half and then add 10-20 minutes on top of the time it took in a vain attempt to increase my supply.
Plus, ZGirl hated breast milk from a bottle. Maybe I did create an abundance of lipase which caused her to turn up her nose, but the only way she would take any breastmilk is if I used a little to cool off a too warm bottle or add it to her cereal, which I served cold.
So, by a silent mutual agreement, I stopped freaking out about it. When my period started it was the final nail in the boob buffet’s coffin. She wanted nothing to do with me.
Mostly, I felt free. I could hand her off to Mr. DD and not worry if she was going to end up in a screaming fit. The change in formula from Infamil to Similac really made a significant difference, and for that I am glad I did some research regarding the taste of formulas.
Now I say, “Mostly…” because of course there’s a bit of me that was surprised by how I ended up missing those nursing sessions. I read for years from this blogger or that blogger how it happens and I never gave it more than a “Oh, you’ll get over it,” kind of comment, but there I was with the shoe on the other foot, engorged breasts, cracked nipples and a baby who had bit me twice within 24 hours.
Since then, I went from pumping twice a day to just once, and then once every other day to being at the point I am right now: done completely.
The pump, the pads, the hated nursing bras, they will all be retired/given away/thrown out. (I will be more than happy to pass on the pump, a nearly full box of disposable breast pads and an unopened box of milk storage bags to anyone who wants them – my treat) The only reminders I will have of her no longer breastfeeding is her stinky formula burps and poops, which finally meant that the open trash can had to be replaced by a real diaper pail.
Once in a while I’ll let myself believe that I can still turn it around. I can start pumping every hour! I can start taking supplements! I can ask for a prescription! but then I let myself enjoy the fact that her chubby little wrists and fingers, and her long, lean form, and her chunky thighs developed because of me.
And I feel some solace from the change since that’s been the hardest part: she’s evolved from a mewling newborn to a funny little person who giggles when I nom-nom those same chubby parts of her.